Tuesday, March 20, 2018


A Message from God

James Cheetham, The Life of Thomas Paine (New York: Southwick and Pelsue, 1809), pp. 280-281:
He usually took a nap after dinner, and would not be disturbed let who would call to see him. One afternoon, a very old lady, dressed in a large scarlet cloak, knocked at the door, and inquired for Thomas Paine. Mr. Jarvis told her he was asleep. I am very sorry, she said, for that, for I want to see him very particularly. Thinking it a pity to make an old woman call twice, Mr. Jarvis took her into Paine's bed-room and waked him. He rose upon one elbow, and then with an expression of eye that staggered the old woman back a step or two, he asked—"What do you want?" Is your name Paine? Yes. "Well then, I come from Almighty God, to tell you, that if you do not repent of your sins and believe in our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, you will be damned, and"——"Poh, poh, it is not true. You were not sent with any such impertinent message. Jarvis, make her go away. Pshaw, he would not send such a foolish ugly old woman as you about with his messages. Go away. Go back—Shut the door." The old lady raised both her hands, kept them so, and without saying another word, walked away in mute astonishment.

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